provisional certificate

Provisional Certificate | 5 things to know about this document

Last Updated on November 30, 2021 by iSchoolConnect

Are you a fresh graduate waiting to get your degree? If so, you can submit a provisional certificate as proof of graduation for higher education or work until the original certificate is issued. If you want to know how to apply for one, then keep scrolling. We have discussed it all here! 

Recent graduates may experience some delays in receiving their final degree certificate from universities. If you’re one of them, you’re probably aware that it can limit your prospects for higher education and work. This is the sole reason why almost all colleges provide you the option of receiving a provisional certificate while you wait for your final degree certificate.

If you are wondering what a provisional certificate is, then read ahead. We have listed 5 important things you need to know about the same. 

1. What is a provisional certificate?

This temporary document acts as proof of your graduation from a university/college.

First, it is a temporary document that proves to a third party that you have completed your graduation. While some universities may provide a specific date until which this certificate is valid, most certificates do not mention it. Generally, these certificates are only valid until the final degree certificate has been issued.

Therefore, you may produce your provisional degree certificate along with your application form for higher education. Besides, you can also submit this certificate with your resume to prospective employers. But, mention that it is a temporary substitute for your final degree certificate, which is yet to be issued. 

When claiming this certificate from your educational institution, you should always check whether your full name, the name of the institution, and the signatures of the higher authorities are present on it.

2. Difference between provisional certificate and degree

While you may already know the difference between the two, there is sometimes more than what meets the eye. Therefore, here is a list of all the differences for you to know.

Provisional Certificate Degree Certificate
It is a temporary document that serves as evidence of your academic achievement and the fact that your final certificate has not yet been issued. It is the final graduation certificate that serves as the ultimate evidence of your academic achievement and renders the previous provisional certificate invalid.
You might need to submit an application for getting a provisional certificate. You do not need to submit any kind of application as the university or college will automatically issue it in your name in due time.
It is usually valid for either 6 months or until the issuance of the final degree certificate. This certificate has no expiry period.

3. Sample of a provisional certificate

You need to know about the generic format of such a temporary certificate. This will help you identify whether all the required elements are present in your provisional eligibility certificate. So, take a look at one of the most common formats/samples for this certificate.

No. _____________________ Dated: ____/_____/_____

Name of Institution

This is certify that Mr./Miss _________________________ S/O, D/O___________________ has completed the course of _________ years in [course name] from this institution.

He/She has passed the examination in _________ Division in the Session __________ from the [Board name] under Roll No. _______________ and obtained marks _____________ out of ________________.
His/Her work and conduct during the training has been ____________________.

Signature & Seal
Name of the Principal: _____________________________
Name of Institution: _____________________________
Complete Address: __________________________________________________________
District: __________ Province: _____________Phone No. __________________________
Fax No. ___________________________ E-mail: ________________________________

If you observe closely, then you will notice that this certificate covers all the relevant details that a prospective employer or higher educational institution needs to know. 

All in all, here are some of the details you should look for in your provisional certificate.

  • Name of the course that you have completed.
  • Your full name, your university enrolment ID, and the name of the department and college.
  • The year in which you completed the final examination, your aggregate marks, as well as the name of the university that set up the exams.
  • Official signature and stamp of the issuing authority. Besides, it should also mention the date and place when the certificate was issued.

While this is a more comprehensive format for a provisional degree certificate, some universities may also resort to a simple format with fewer details. Nevertheless, a certificate like this can wipe off a lot of hurdles and pave the way for you to pursue either higher education or take up a job

4. Application for provisional certificate

Submit a provisional certificate while applying for a job or submitting a university application.

If you are wondering how to submit an application for provisional certificate, we have got you covered. The process of securing this certificate may differ depending upon the university, but there is one common step in all of them, that is, approaching the right authorities. 

In most cases, you need to get in touch with the respective heads of departments of the university or the principal/dean. While some universities may be able to provide you with this certificate in just a few days (or even instantly), others might take a couple of months to process your application. 

To know how to approach your university for this certificate, simply follow these steps – 

  • You need to write an application letter to the administrative department of your college or university.
  • Mention the purpose for which you require this temporary certificate. 
  • In case you do not receive any satisfying response from the administrative department, write a similar application to the dean/principal/any significant head of your college or university. 
  •  Also, mention that you are writing to him/her as you received no satisfactory response from the administrative department. 

On the other hand, some universities might have a ready-made application form that you need to fill and submit to get your provisional degree certificate.

5. Format of an application form for provisional certificate

If your university or college does not have any ready-made application form, then you will have to draft your own application letter.  Make sure to address it to the head of your department or the head of your institution. 

Here is a format that you can follow when drafting such an application letter.

The Dean/Principal/Head of Department/Administrative Head
University/College Name
Address of University/College

Date: __/ __/ ____

Subject: Application for Issuance of Provisional Certificate

Respected Sir/Madam

This is to bring to your kind notice that I, (full name), a student of (name of department), have completed the (name of the degree) for the academic year of (starting and ending year of the degree program).

I now wish to pursue higher education from (name of university or college)/apply for a job at (name of employer) and will therefore require a provisional certificate of graduation.

I would be greatly indebted to you if you could provide me with the same so that I can work on my academic/professional ambitions without much delay.

Thanking you in advance,

Yours Sincerely

(Full name of student)
(Student’s college or university enrolment ID)

You can use this sample template, put in all the relevant details, and submit the letter to the respective authorities. After this, wait for at least two working days for a reply or an acknowledgement. Once you receive your provisional degree certificate, you can apply for jobs or even submit your application for higher studies in your field of interest. 

However, you must remember that once your original degree certificate is issued, you must provide your employer or the educational institution with a copy of the same as a replacement of the provisional one.

What’s next?

So, there you have it—everything about a provisional certificate. We hope this blog gave you a clear idea of how to get your certificate from your institution. Since this document is of such high importance, keep it safe until you get your final degree certificate.

If you feel we have missed out on mentioning some information on a provisional certificate, please let us know. You can do this by dropping a comment or reaching out to us


Q1. Can we get a provisional certificate online?

Answer- While most universities may not provide you with such a certificate online, some might entertain this request given the current circumstances.

Q2. Can a provisional certificate be attested?

Answer- Yes, such a certificate will need to be attested if you wish to use it to apply to foreign universities. You may also need to get this certificate attested if you want to apply for a student visa to study abroad. 

Q3. When will a provisional certificate be issued?

Answer- When there is a delay in receiving the final degree certificate, your institution or university will normally issue a provisional certificate. Depending on which college you graduated from, the time it takes to receive this temporary certificate can range from 3 to 6 months.

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